Sussex Drive still tops Ottawa retail rents

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The western edge of the ByWard Market continues to command the highest retail rents in Ottawa, according to an annual global study.

Shop owners along Sussex Drive can expect to pay $50 a square foot - the same as last year and in 2009 - according to commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, which publishes its Main Streets Around the World report annually.

Sussex Drive and the broader ByWard Market routinely top lists of the city’s priciest retail digs.

Ottawa’s prime retail area is a bargain compared to other top Canadian shopping strips, which include Bloor Street in Toronto ($320 a square foot), Robson Street in Vancouver ($220 a square foot) and Saint-Catherine Street in Montreal ($180 a square foot).

However, all those pale in comparison to Causeway Bay in Hong Kong (US$2,630 a square foot) and Fifth Avenue in New York (US$2,500 a square foot), which topped the global list.

The Cushman & Wakefield study compares rents that its agents consider “achievable for prime space,” rather than asking rents or the highest obtainable rent.